What is Astigmatism?

With astigmatism, your eye is shaped a bit like a rugby ball, which means that light is directed to more than one place at the back of the eye. It can make your vision blurry and will usually need correcting with glasses or contact lenses.

Astigmatism usually occurs alongside short-sightedness or long-sightedness, but is usually first noticed in childhood. Things to look out for are:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain, particularly when focusing on something for a long time (such as your phone).


If you notice that your child has any of the above symptoms, you should book an appointment for an eye test.

An Optometrist will run through various tests to understand whether a prescription is needed to correct any astigmatism. If required, glasses or contact lenses will be prescribed. 

Eyecare for all under 16s (or under 19 in full time education) is fully funded by the NHS so you won’t have to pay for your child’s eye test. Plus, they are entitled to an NHS eyecare voucher to help towards the cost of glasses and contact lenses.

Read more about NHS Eye Care here.


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